NYCMidnight · Writing

#Blessed – The Horror of all Horrors

I took second place in my round for the NYCM Short Story contest with Baby Jane Doe.  I didn’t post that story here because I know I can find it a home somewhere pretty much as-is (even though my judging feedback was all-over-the-damned-place).

So yeah, round 2. I didn’t have time to write, so of course, I scored SUPER STRONG. It was Matthew’s birthday celebration weekend and we had plans for a big party on Saturday. We had the AZ Pride Parade and Festival on Sunday. Friday, I realized I’d totally missed a project that was due. (oops!) At one point on Sunday, I was sitting across from my daughter after marching in the Pride parade, and I said, “So yeah, I finished my NYCM story.” and she goes, “WHEN?!”

The kicker was that I was given “Horror” as a genre prompt. I really am NOT a horror writer. And I definitely did NOT have the emotional bandwidth last weekend to produce a true horror piece. Thankfully, the second part of my prompt saved me… “a renovation.” I’m sure we can all agree — home renovation is horror, no zombies required.

The result ended up being more of a dark comedy than a horror piece. We shall see if it flies. If anything, I kind of love it… even if the process of writing it was horrific in and of itself.

Without any further blathering, I give you:


Horror / A renovation / A researcher

When a home renovation goes from “blessing” to “curse,” sharing every step of the process on Twitter isn’t the greatest idea.

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 18 Apr

The #HauserHomeRenovation starts next week. Rob’s bonus wasn’t quite what we expected, so we’re going to have to do a lot ourselves… lots to research. Still… #Blessed

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 18 Apr

We’ve got this, hon! You’re the research professor. If anyone can figure it out, you can!

Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 18 Apr

I know your house will be as adorable as you and your hubs when you’re done. #Following

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 18 Apr

Haha… I’m planning on sharing everything! Maybe I can make #HauserHomeRenovation trend. And with summer break coming up, I’ll have lots of time to work on it. #SoExcited

Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 19 Apr

I hope I get an invite to the housewarming. House re-warming? No, that sounds like it died or something.

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 19 Apr

Who even is she? ^^^^

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 19 Apr

LOL friend of a friend (of a friend?) Gotta love social media.

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 22 Apr

We picked out paint and flooring. Who knew that would take 5 hours?! Our living room wall color is “Whispering Peach.” #WhoNamesTheseThings The flooring is just called Redwood. #BoringFlooring

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 25 Apr

The #HauserHomeRenovation is underway! I got to use a sledgehammer today. Rob says he’s never going to piss me off again. I wonder what that’s all about. #JustKidding #SortOf

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 25 Apr

No. Really. She’s terrifying. The living room had no idea what was coming.

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 25 Apr

I’m just glad there are only a few weeks left in the semester. #HangingInThere

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 14 May

Good news: the living room floor is out. Bad news: the creaky spot just doesn’t look right underneath. All my research says “hire an inspector.” @ITGeekRob thinks we can level it ourselves. #ButImTheResearchExpert #HauserHomeRenovation #GoTeam #WeGotThis

Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 15 May

You two are an inspiration! Maybe I’ll paint my bedroom.

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 15 May

Our incentive to fix it quickly: It’s hard to walk in a house with no floors.

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 31 May

Aaaand now @Cyndi37 and I know why the outlet in the hall stopped working. Barbequed Mouse. Smells delightful. Still no floors or drywall in the living room. Now the hallway, too.

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 31 May

I can’t believe you just shared a picture of the dead mouse in our walls. Gross.

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 31 May

At least I didn’t take pictures of the cat trying to eat it.

Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 31 May

Ew! Ew! Eeeeeeew!  (You guys are so adorbs)

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 31 May

Why are we documenting this online, again?

Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 31 May

You can’t stop now. Post more!

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 19 Jun

After weeks of failed flooring and drywall installation attempts, we finally ordered a #HomeInspection to see why we can’t get anything to level. Probably should have started with one. It’s only $300. #LiveAndLearn #HauserHomeRenovation

Saeed Rashad @RashRush ˑ 19 Jun

Just got our inspection back yesterday. Hope yours helps as much as ours did!

Amelda Rayne @OilsAreMagic ˑ 19 Jun

U probably have pixies. They’re devious. Try sprinkling salt and sage at ur doorways.

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 19 Jun

Who are these people commenting?

Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 19 Jun

OMG you’re trending!

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 22 Jun

Did you know that house foundations can settle and slowly tear your home apart? Yeah, me neither. Also, #mold. Turns out my allergies were actually my house trying to kill me. #WhoKnew? #HauserHomeRenovation #CantAffordContractors

Amelda Rayne @OilsAreMagic ˑ 22 Jun

Eucalyptus oil opens the airways of ur home and body. Send me ur address for a sample.

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 25 Jun

Brought in an “expert.” Foundation repair will eat the remainder of Rob’s bonus and then some. I guess the new windows will have to wait. #WeHaveToAffordContarctorsNow #Shrug #HauserHomeRenovation

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 25 Jun

It’s total bullshit. Seriously.

Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 26 Jun


Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 26 Jun

Rob’s just pissy because we have to do all the drywall ourselves now. Since that was the plan all along, I dunno why he’s so upset. Again… #Shrug

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 26 Jun

If Cyndi could just take the sledgehammer to the rest of the house, it would make me much happier. I’m sick of stepping through open floors.

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 26 Jun

Also, it was 95 degrees yesterday. Guess who has two thumbs and is drenched in his own sweat? This guy!

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 26 Jun

We get insulation tomorrow. #CalmDown

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 28 Jun

It’s 3 AM. Every bone in my body hurts. I’m covered in fiberglass shards. It’s like a million knives. One section of the batting just won’t FUCKING stay up. #HauserHomeRenovation #Insulation #FreshNewHell

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 28 Jun

Calm down

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 28 Jun

Says the guy who gave up and went to bed at 11.

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 28 Jun

What can I say? I was tired.

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 28 Jun

Your life insurance is up to date, yes? #WheresMySledgeHammer

Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 28 Jun

Now you two… don’t make me come over there.

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 28 Jun

@Cyndi37, I really hope you’re not telling these people where we live!

Amelda Rayne @OilsAreMagic ˑ 1 Jul

U really should try the eucalyptus. Maybe some lavender. I’ll send those samples whenever u want!

Saeed Rashad @RashRush ˑ 1 Jul

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 3 Jul

Rob surprised me with a 2-night stay at an in-town resort. I guess I’ll let him live. They’re going to fix the foundation while we’re away. #HauserHomeRenovation

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 3 Jul

At least the resort will have a fucking floor.

Cyndi Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 3 Jul


Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 3 Jul

Awwwwwww you guys are my FAVORITE! #PowerCouple #ForeverAndEver

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 3 Jul

Mary can shut up now.

Cyndi Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 3 Jul


Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 28 Jul

@Cyndi37 @ITGeekRob are you guys still alive? Haven’t heard about the #HauserHomeRenovation in a while. I need proof of life!

Saeed Rashad @RashRush ˑ 29 Jul

@ShezMary, my wife and I finished our renovation. IT’S SO AWESOME! Come check it out. #RashadRadReno

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 1 Aug

Sorry it’s been a while since I posted. We finally got the living room floor in. And it’s level! #HauserHomeRenovation #MiraclesDoHappen #NotDoneYet

Amelda Rayne @OilsAreMagic ˑ 1 Aug

U sound much more calm. See, Oils ARE magic!

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 1 Aug

News flash: eucalyptus can make SOME people break out in hives. You know, people like me. Cyndi doesn’t care because “it keeps her centered.” #eyeroll Fuck… now I’m using hashtags.

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 2 Aug

Also, the floor still squeaks.

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 4 Aug

Hmmm… no more comments. I guess our adoring fans have all jumped ship in favor of #RashadRadReno…  I can’t say I’m not jealous. His house looks fucking great.

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 5 Aug

All good feelings gone. Rob severed wires in the hallway wall. But it’s okay… he “fixed it.” Now when I flip the hall light switch, the coffee pot turns on. #ItsPossessed #HauserHouseOfHorror

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 5 Aug

Still cheaper than an electrician, and more coffee! Yay!

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 5 Aug

Yeah. No. I called an electrician. Consider it your Christmas present.

Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 5 Aug

@Cyndi37 you like French Roast, right? I’ll bring some over.

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 5 Aug

How does she know that?

Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 5 Aug

@ITGeekRob, LOL silly. She posts from Starbucks every Saturday morning. Hey, I could meet you there!

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 5 Aug


Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 6 Aug

I finished mudding the drywall in the living room. No amount of research could have prepared me for that. It looks like it was done by a toddler and I don’t even care. #DoneIsBetterThanPerfect #LumpyWalls #HauserHomeRenovation

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 6 Aug

Check out my favorite photo of the process so far. I call it “Cat Cost Me $550 at the Emergency Vet Because Drywall Mud is DELICIOUS!” We are never having kids.

Saeed Rashad @RashRush ˑ 6 Aug

Figured I’d check in to see how things were going and was SO not disappointed. I’m writing a how-to book on stress-free home renovations. Want a copy? #RashadRadReno

Amelda Rayne @OilsAreMagic ˑ 12 Aug

@Cyndi37, I don’t understand why @ITGeekRob called the police.

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 12 Aug

Um, because you were burning shit on my front lawn?

Amelda Rayne @OilsAreMagic ˑ 12 Aug

It wasn’t shit. It was lemongrass and sage to purge the bad energy. I probably should have rung the doorbell first.

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 12 Aug

As if the doorbell works in this godforsaken hell hole. Anyway, don’t burn shit in my yard.

Amelda Rayne @OilsAreMagic ˑ 12 Aug

@Cyndi37, it’s no wonder this has been so hard on u! So much negativity!

Robert Hauser @ITGeekRob ˑ 12 Aug

@Cyndi37, will you please block this nutjob?

Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 13 Aug

Oh sure, @OilsAreMagic gets to meet you in person. We’ve been talking for months! Where’s my invitation?

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 13 Aug

Literally none of this is worthy of a response.

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 14 Aug

Painted the walls. This peach color does NOT whisper. It screams at the top of its lungs. Coupled with the REDwood flooring, my living room looks like a circus tent. #BeyondCaring

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 14 Aug

Oh, Fall semester starts Monday. #HaventFinishedTheSyllabus #FuckMyLife

Amelda Rayne @OilsAreMagic ˑ 14 Aug

@Cyndi37, I’ll send you some samples

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 14 Aug

@OilsAreMagic, only if they’re paint samples… and free paint… and vodka.

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 1 Sept

Haven’t seen Rob since Tuesday. He’s “taking a break.” #WhateverThatMeans At least the hall lights work again. #OneDemonDown #MoreToGo

Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 1 Sept

My boyfriend left me, too. I’ll come over… we can cry together.

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 1 Sept

Do NOT come to my house.

Mary Shezzard @ShezMary ˑ 1 Sept

Don’t worry… if Rob isn’t there, no one will call the cops. I’ll bring vodka!

Cyndi Hauser @Cyndi37 ˑ 2 Sept

Finally got the last of the flooring down in the hallway. Then I heard the cat meowing… under the floorboards. #HauserHorrorHouse #BurnItAll #SaveTheCatFirst

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